Finding a graphic designer can be tricky. Especially if you’ve never worked with a designer and aren’t sure what to expect. Each designer’s style and skill set will be different. You also need to consider their experience, communication style, the quality of their work, as well as their work ethic. It can be overwhelming. Which is why I’m here to help you by sharing some tips that are sure to get you on the right track!
1. Have an idea about what you want.
This will come in handy as you are looking through portfolios and discussing your needs with potential candidates. Save images, colors and styles that appeal to you. Create inspiration boards on Pinterest or even a simple image search on Google can do the trick!
2. Figure out how much you are willing to spend.
Someone who’s been working for 10+ years, with proven experience will better understand your needs, be more reliable and will generally do a better job than someone just starting out. On average, quality freelance designers with solid experience charge hourly rates that range between $60 to $115 per hour. Flat rates are dependent on the designer.
3. Know where to look.
There are many different websites that allow you to post jobs that freelancers can bid on. You can even search through design portfolios and invite freelancers to bid on your specific job post. LinkedIn and Yelp are also great sites where you can read reviews and see the ratings of designers from their previous clients. Avoid websites, such as Fiverr, where they undercharge and don’t typically produce quality work.
4. Know what to look for in a designer.
Every designer should have an online portfolio. Check out their previous work and consider how their experience and style matches what you’re looking for. While some designers specialize in specific project types or styles, they should also exhibit diversity, indicating that they can adapt to a variety of project needs. If you want bold, vibrant colors, but a designer’s past projects are all subtle and earthy, or if you want a website designed, but they only have practice in logos, you probably need to look elsewhere.
5. Read the reviews.
But keep in mind no one is going to advertise a bad review on their website. Instead of focusing on gushing reviews look for reviews that say how reliable and dependable they are. A good graphic designer is like a good hair stylist. Once you find one you like, you’re probably going to stick with them. Look for repeat clients or even clients that say they were sent through referrals. If you’re still unsure, just pop their name along with their professional title or business name into the Google search bar and see what comes up!
6. Ask questions.
Make sure you understand their process and don’t be afraid to ask questions.
- What is expected to get started?
- What is the total estimated cost of the project and what does it include?
- Will they provide a questionnaire for you to fill out to better help them understand your needs?
- How many rounds of proofs will they send you?
- Depending on the project, whether it’s digital files or prints, how will the finals be delivered?
- Who owns the rights to the final design?
- Will any projects that contain confidential information be uploaded to their online portfolio?
Customer service is key and a professional graphic designer will be happy to answer any questions or discuss any concerns you may have before getting started.
7. Be clear about your expectations and listen to your gut.
Be vocal and assertive about what you want and make sure the graphic designer feels confident that they are able to provide what you need. If he or she has any reservations or is unable to give you definitive answers about the scope of the project then consider it a red flag and look elsewhere. Your confidence in hiring them should reflect their confidence in their own ability to complete the project to your standards.